5 May 2008

Ajwaini Arbi ke Tikkey (Colocassia with carom seeds)

Arbi ke Tikkey

Arbi / Colocassia or seppankizhangu (in Tamil) can be an ugly looking vegetable...but lends itself to some delicious dishes. Ask those good Tamil boys who pester their wives to make Seppankizhangu roast for Sunday lunches, just the way their Amma makes it :) Even cricketer Srikkanth admits to being a "ghee-seppankizhangu roast-paruppu sadam freak". Seppankizhangu roast can be a topic for another whole post, but this one is dedicated to the Punju way of glorifying an ordinary muddy arbi.

A little note of warning, there are people who are allergic to some of these root vegetables, so please to check with your families if you are unleashing this fellow on them for the first time. If while handling this vegetable, your fingers itch, then you yourself may be allergic to this - anywhere from mild to severe. This is something extremely hilarious I read on one of my favourite blogs on allergic tendencies to vegetables from the yam family.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from our favourite Punju restaurant in the vicinity - Urban Tadka. This place does not take reservations and the only way to get a seat is to go there, put your name down on their long waiting list and be prepared to wait from anywhere between half hour to two hours. And its been some 3-4 years since they started, and people continue to WAIT with salivating tongues and rumbling tummies. That speaks for the yumminess quotient of the food they serve. So coming back to the Ajwaini Arbi Tikkas, this is one of our favourite starters here. Having eaten it a few times it was easy to figure out what went into it, well almost, two of the main ingredients already revealed in the name itself. My addition to this is sesame seeds which i did not find used in the restaurant version.

Arbi like some of its starchy cousins can produce considerable gas in your GIT (Gastro-Intestinal Tract) and ajwain or omam / carom seeds is an excellent spice to counteract the bloating, so these do make a perfect synergistic pair.

Ajwaini Arbi Ke Tikkey (Colocassia with carom seeds)
Category: Appetizer / Finger food / Roti accompaniment
Time taken: Active time: 10 minutes, Inactive time : 40 minutes
Serves 2


This recipe uses 250 g or 1/2 Lb of colocassia. When you buy the arbi, try and choose the ones of a similar size so that they can cook uniformly.
First scrub the muddy bits from the arbi very well. I use the pressure cooker to cook them through.

Place the arbis in a cooker vessel with a little water (1/2 cup or so), more water in the cooker, after two whistles, place on sim for 5 minutes. This should do to cook medium sized arbis without turning them to mush, in which case, you really cannot progress further.

One the cooker has cooled, open, and remove the arbi to a plate and cool for 10 minutes till comfortable to peel.

Once peeled, place them in a single layer in a large dish. With your palms or a wooden masher, lightly flatten each piece until oval / round, but not with so much force that it crumbles.

Spices and other stuff

Over the arbi, sprinkle -
1 tsp coarsely crushed ajwain
1 tsp of red chilli powder (like degi mirch)
1 tbsp of coriander powder
1 tbsp of sesame seeds
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp rice flour (for crispiness)
plenty of finely chopped coriander

With a gentle hand, coat the spices over the arbi and let this sit for 15 minutes minimum. You could also refrigerate the dish covered with cling wrap until the time you want to shallow fry and serve.

Final step

In a cast iron or any suitable skillet, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Place the well marinated arbi pieces in a single layer. Let these acquire a golden brown crust on one side (takes around 7-10 minutes) after which turn them over and crispen for 10 more minutes.

Serve hot with green chutney or a date tamarind chutney. We had it with store bought Date Tamarind Chutney (Kitchens of India, ITC) and it went superbly along with some slices of cool cucumber.

This is my entry to Meeta's Monthly Mingle - Bollywood Cooking.

Do check out another yummy sounding recipe for Colocassia posted by Raaga, we do have some kind of telepathy going. I received her mouthwatering and melt-in-your-mouth Nankhatais, along with a cooking paste and Mungodis from her in a courier that made my weekend. Needless to say the Nankhatais have been promptly devoured. Now i am so addicted to their taste, that I have to make some from her recipe this week. Thank you so much for the delicious stuff Raaga :)


Raaga said...

These look beautiful... I've to try this too. And you're welcome sweetheart!

Meeta said...

I really love arbi. My mum used to make a nice spicy sabzhi with it. Too bad I have never seen it here. This looks so delish Nandita!

arundati said...

hey nan....these look fab....must try...i am an arvi fan...and cant get enough of them!!

Lalit said...

this sounds so good and innovative way of treating "arbi" - but I am allergic to it. Have tried it before but get bad acidity.
The dish really looks yummy - to all who are not allergic - go ahead try
I will wait for the next one to come


Asha said...

OOH! N,I love that first photos, gorgeous and mouthwatering. Good job!:)

Thanks for your comment.I am enjoying cooking from other blogs so much that I don't want to blog my own food anymore!;D

We do have wonderful blogger community here, we are all very lucky. Inspite of getting few nasty comments, I am very proud to be one of the foodies!:))

More power to you girl, will be scouting your blog one of these days to steal!Hahaha!

sowmya said...

that looks very delicious...my hubby is so fond of arvi...should try this way...

Nandita said...

Raaga - Try it, you can just leave it on low flame while you go about the other chores in the morning.

Meeta - Arbi is a popular punju vegetable, i'm not surprised your mamma made it :)

Arundati - You an arbi fan? Then don't miss this...lemme know when you make it. You can have this with roti also.

Lalit - are you my friend Lalit or another Lalit? Your blogger profile aint visible, thanks for your comments :)

Asha - You are a much loved blogger - and an inspiration to many of us, with your enthusiasm :) I'll be honoured if you steal any of my recipes for your next collage :)

Sowmya - Hope you try it soon, you'll find most of the ingredients in your kitchen :)

Shilpa said...

Wow...Arbi tikkey..thats a new dish. I will have to try it.
I know what u mean by waiting in a long queue at a restaurant..I hated that when I was in Bangalore. But this time when we were there, I didn't mind the wait at all. All I wanted to do was eat those yummy dishes at my fav restaurants. Staying away from home teaches all that :).

Thanks for the tip on tea on your other blog(sorry, i could not reply to your comment as I saw it very late and the dial up connection at home in India did not allow me to reply). I bought a 3 tea combo (assam, nilgiris, darjeeling) for my colleague, he simply loved it and also said he had never tasted such a great tea :D. I did not go to Mumbai this time, may be next time....Thanks again.

ranji said...

really yummy..soooo tempting and mouth watering delicious...

Nandita said...

Shilpa- glad your friend liked the teas :)

Ranji - Thanks :)

Uma said...

different way to cook arbi. Love the pics. too. the curry looks simply delicious. bookmarked to try.

bhags said...

The pics look very inviting....glad to know someone who likes reading Sophie Kinsella...:)

Jyothsna said...

That's lovely looking arbi. I like the idea of flattening individual arbi pieces. My MIL makes tikkas from mashed arbi and those are great.

Madhavi said...

mouthwatering, lovely entry!!!thanxx for sharing..


Kamini said...

Absolutely yummy looking stuff! I think I will try this recipe with baby potatoes since finding decent arbi is quite a hit or miss (more miss than hit!) proposition here in New York.

Rhea Mitra Dalal said...

I remeber eating arbi ordered from UT at your place about a year ago...You were off to Delhi, K and I had dropped by to watch some music concerts with S :)
In New Bombay I get superb fresh veggies...and I visit your blog daily hoping for some new ideas. This one is a definite on for me to try out :)

sra said...

I made a MW curry using ajwain and arbi - not nice. What I've read, and follow, to remove the itch from arbi is to boil it, peel it and soak it in buttermilk for a while - it seems to help.

Miri said...

Love tikkis in any form and in my phase of tikki craziness (which ranged from raw banana to rajma) I made arbi tikkas and triumphantly served them to a friend who hated arbi but didnt even know that was what he was eating :)

Your version with the ajwain and til seems really interesting and I will be trying it soon!


Priya Balchand said...

Your dish looks soo yummy...I do agree with you, during my childhood my mom used to prepare this roasty seppankizhangu, which till now is mouth watering.
After a long time I prepared seppankizhangu to-day and when I surfed... I just landed here with yet another version of it, which I love to cook.

Priya Balchand said...

Hey another quick question, Please let me know how to join the bloggers food communities.. I see lots of events and wards passing through? I just feel I am left over..

Asal Tamil Penn said...

Next time you are in Madras, you must visit my house. Though, please keep some murungakka recipes handy.

Nandita said...

Thanks dear friends for taking time to leave your comments.

Sra- arbi is quite skin friendly for me, it is the senaikizhangu or yam that gives me the hives...so i buy ready chopped stuff from supermarket. fortunately i don't have any allergies when i eat the cooked stuff.

Priya - Do visit connect.sailusfood.com and add your blog's feed there, your posts will be then visible to all food bloggers, you will also find all food events listed there. Hope this helps.

ATP - Onakku thaan murungakkai pidikkathe!! Would love to meet you in Chennai, do post something soon, i keep coming to your blog and get disappointed when I see the same postal holiday post on the top :)

delhibelle said...

Good that I bought arbi from Little India this weekend, else I would have had to go back to get some. This one has to be tried!

Jayashree said...

I love crispy, fried arbi....and yours looks perfectly delicious....

Nupur said...

That first picture is making my mouth water! And it is 6 am. Nandita, your posts just have that effect on me :) too delicious.

delhibelle said...

Made this for dinner today, nearly 1.5 lbs of arbi walloped by 3 adults and 1 kid!

Suganya said...

This is one of the gorgeous arbi i have ever seen, Nandita. I will surely try it.

Sig said...

How did I miss this? Been extremely busy this week... But oh my god, you know not that many veggie dishes makes me drool, but this is definitely an exception... I am getting extremely hungry looking at that gorgeous picture... Great job darling!

Chandan said...

Love Arbi, this one looks like a sure winner... can't wait to try it...

Mallugirl said...

hmm.. arbi is one of my fav vegetables. the photo really makes me want to try this immediately.it looks spicy and rich!!

Nandita said...

Rashmi - thanks for trying this out so enthusiastically...my hubby and me did have a fork fight over the last piece, finally settling for half each, so 1/2 Lb is just about enough, if you have other things going on the table as well :) Glad you liked it.

Jayashree- Thanks :)

Nupur- not wanting to sound like a mutual admiration society, but I love everything you write about :)

Suganya, Sig, CHandan, Shaheen - Nice to see your comments :) Do pin me if you manage to try it and like it :) Sig, if this comes a little close to the utterly masaledar pics you post, I'm very happy :)

lari said...

this looks sooo yummy, I wanan eat!

Sumi said...

got into ur blog after a long gap of 2 yrs.your arbi and the pictures are great.too bad I dont get that delicious little ones here in belgium.
Will definitly try this one when i get hold of some arbi's here.

Ranjani said...

This looks tantalizing!
I've never eaten arbi like this before, need to give it a shot!
Love your pics too, fabulous:)

bee said...

tried it and loved it. thank you.

masalamagic said...

Oh my Nandita, those look divine! I made arbi the other day too, got to try this recipe when i get a hold of arbi next!

Vinod said...

i am going to try this out!

Swarna said...

Wonderful blog and very tasty recipes.
I tried this recipe with Hawaiin Taro which essential arvi size of coconut...available here in ranch markets of california. I sliced them into big disks and followed your recipe, turned out very good.
All guests were gobbling it up in no time....Do keep coming with these great recipes......

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen said...

Hey Nandita,

They suggest you to me and I'm glad I took the suggestion ;) Nice blog.

You got a great collection of recipe and this one looks scrumptious! Have you tried arbi ke patte ? They are delicious too.


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